Indianapolis is home to a wide range of bands that exhibit different styles, techniques, and motives, from the vocal sheen of pop artist Jon McLaughlin to the down and dirty junk rock of Sloppy Seconds. Shinky, an Indianapolis music group, is part of the Circle City‘s long and venerable tradition of excellent genre bending music.
Citing influences as diverse as pop rock band U2, late 90’s emo group The Get Up Kids, and nerd rock outfit Weezer, Indy‘s Shinky takes cues from a melting pot of musical inspiration. At the heart of it all, however, is a group that wants to spread their love for music to the world. “It’s about writing the songs that paint a picture, musically and lyrically,” lead singer Michael Bookmyer says, “a picture that someone can latch on to and identify with, first and foremost.”
This is a message that resonates with fans of earlier emo groups like Taking Back Sunday and the aforementioned Get Up Kids; music is about the feeling, about fan unity, about making something bigger than yourself. These are the ideals that Shinky stands for, the ideals that have spawned two albums and a whole mess of live shows.
Shinky, formed in 2000, is a three piece made up of close friends Michael Bookmyer (vocals and guitar), Kyle Ferguson (drums), and Quinn Liggett (bass). Like most D.I.Y. musicians (Sally Anthony, Andrew Young, and Same as Sunday are examples), the members of Shinky are the authors of their own success. They promote themselves tirelessly, through MySpace, through inexhaustible live performances, through word of mouth and rabid fans. They post their own flyers, book their own shows, fund their own albums, and recruit their own fanbase. Shinky’s rise and fall is totally based on their own efforts, not on the whims of some big time record company conglomerate.
As such, Shinky makes the music they want to make. And what a fortunate thing that is; through their two releases, 2006’s eponymous EP, Shinky, and 2008’s Like Flames, the band has created a sound the crackles with electricity, throbs with heartache, and pulses with an energy that most bands struggle their whole career to create. However, the real beauty of Shinky lies in their live shows.
On the album notes for their latest record, Like Flames, Bookmyer says that “writing and recording is where the story is told, but the live show is where we sell the message.” As previously mentioned, Shinky has spent the last nine years touring endlessly, often playing two or more shows each week. They have played at many Indianapolis music venues, including the Emerson Theatre and Birdy’s Bar & Grill. That’s a lot of work for people with day jobs and bills to pay, but such is the commitment Shinky has to their music. It’s all about making a “lasting connection”, and Shinky certainly does that with their high energy, dynamic live performances.
For more information on Shinky, including a full bio, song samples, and tour information, please visit the band’s homepage.
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